Thoughts on Innovation
by Satish Bhat, Engagement Leader, Infosys Consulting
Innovation is a journey and not a destination. The moment you feel that you have innovated, you are no longer innovating. This notion is in line with the notion of “Excellence” so eloquently articulated by Barkha Dutt, chief guest at the Infosys 2006 Awards for Excellence.
Those sitting comfortably "in the middle" are not likely to innovate. Innovators tend to be either at the cutting edge where they are proactively deploying resources and creating mechanisms to innovate or they are so deep down the drain that they have to innovate just to survive in their industry.
Every innovation does not have to be a blockbuster innovation. When several smaller innovations come together, they could have a collective impact that is bigger than the sum of the parts. We see that on the automotive dashboard all the time. All the small technology innovations by the various tier-1 manufacturers and their suppliers who make the components of a dashboard come together to form a dashboard that is intuitive and ergonomic.
Fear of failure is a big detractor on the path to innovation. The organization must emphasize that a certain percentage of attempts to innovate will fail and that is OK. Otherwise, the fear of failure will create a significant barrier to innovation.